Atheist
Piece of Time


5.0
classic

Review

by Technical101 USER (3 Reviews)
December 23rd, 2008 | 11 replies


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Atheist create an absolute masterpiece with "Piece of Time"

Piece of Time, the debut album from death metal pioneers Atheist, remains one of the greatest musical journeys and truly the start of a new direction for the metal world. After Atheist recorded three demo tapes (one under the band's previous incarnation, R.A.V.A.G.E.), they hit their stride with Piece of Time. Finally getting the production they deserved and finding a home with Active Recods, Atheist released the first of three highly influential albums that would shake the fundamentals of how music was written and the limits at which it was played.

Line-Up:
Kelly Shaefer (vocals, guitar)
Rand Burkey (guitar)
Roger Patterson (bass)
Steve Flynn (drums)


Guitars: Shaefer and Burkey really did some amazing things here. Burkey (a left-handed guitar player that played a right-handed guitar) performs some blazing solo's throughout and theirs plenty of them to be found here. Fast, insane, and chaotic are a few words that come to mind but not in a Kerry King kinda way. While they can be extremely fast and mind-blowing their still highly technical and well placed. The riffs on this album are the best that Atheist did in their career and never get boring. Tempo changes and perfect timing make this an ideal album for the aspiring guitarist. Through all the butality though, the less aggressive parts are what made Piece of Time really stand out in a crowded genre. Shaefer and Burkey will race along at breakneck speed and then, when you least expect it, go straight into a jazzy interlude and right when you're used to it go right back into tearing it up. They can really stop on a dime spontaneously and you never know what to expect from these guys. Not that this isn't death metal first and foremost. The bands later releases really delved into the softer parts but this album remains the heaviest and most brutal of their career.


Bass: Roger Patterson performed the bass duties for Piece of Time. Sadly it would be his last before dying in a car accident. Roger had a unique playing style that is always heard throughout every song. Shaefer and Burkey would write their guitar parts around Rogers bass which is usually unheard of in metal. His complex bass lines would include insane speed, popping and slapping, and pounding under the music, creating the Atheist sound. He's truly a legendary bassist that should forever be remembered even if for this album alone.


Drums: Steve Flynn is excellent behind the kit and wraps up the trademark Atheist sound. Just like the rest of the band, he's really good at doing soft jazzy parts or brutally heavy parts. Steve's a skilled kick-drummer but doesn't overuse the bass drum( like so many other death metal bands). He injects it at the right moment and it never takes over the other instruments but only makes them seem all the more brutal. All of the guitars are so crazy but Flynn keeps them all together perfectly. Although his performance on their next album, Unquestionable Presence, is awe-inspiring, his work on Piece of Time is still absolutely amazing.


Vocals: This is hands down the best vocal performance of Atheist's career. Shaefer has a raspy, snarly growl that takes command of the music but doesn't overpower it. Definitely the most death metal sounding vocals are found here, as on the next album it was toned down (but still great).


Lyrics: Piece of Time was the beginning of Atheist's more thougtful and inspiring lyrics to come on Unquestionable Presence and Elements. Most of the topics deal with the band's name and often times venture into politics. It's not the typical "We hate God" or "We hate the government" crap though, their written very well to where you actually want to know what their saying. The topics fit the music well and offer perspective's on life, death, social standings, and the after-life. Not that they don't have a couple cheesy gore-filled songs (On They Slay and Life). While the lyrics are a step down from their later works they're still miles above what the typical metal band was (is) putting out.


Production: Production here is top-notch. Scott Burns and Atheist did a great job on Piece of Time. With proper funding, they finally got the production problem straightened out that plagued them on their demo's. All the instruments are heard perfectly throughout the record, which is one of the first things I look for. Nothing ever takes over the music, everything is equal.


Highly creative, totally original, and never gets repetetive or boring after numerous listens, the influential Piece of Time is an absolute masterpiece that should be in everyone's collection.


user ratings (655)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Ad Absurdum (4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
December 22nd 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll pos this because it was a decent review, but you should try to switch things up on your next one. Don't break it down by instrument (especially as specifically as you have), try to give an over-arching opinion of the music itself and integrate your instrumental talk into that.
This is a great album, but "Unquestionable Presence" is much better. Also, if you don't know, the drummer has a new band called Gnostic that also includes the two guitarists that toured on the Athiest reunion tour. It's like Unquestionable Presence, but with more balls.
www.myspace.com/gnosticmusic

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

Technical101
December 24th 2008


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hey thanks for the advice.

Wizard
December 24th 2008


19643 Comments


I need to still here this. Nice review as well. Just take the advice I gave to you in your Cynic review ;).

Digging: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

KILL
December 18th 2009


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

gd review man

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

KILL
September 5th 2010


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

agreed

Terrifyer
September 5th 2010


3403 Comments


who are u talking to

KILL
September 5th 2010


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dno

Maniac!
September 5th 2010


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I miss your old account, Daniel

Terrifyer
September 5th 2010


3403 Comments


no u dont no one does

this is probably my fav atheist album cos im crazy

Maniac!
September 5th 2010


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I miss FadetoBlack :[

he was cooler than this terrifyer fag


I mean gag

KILL
September 5th 2010


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fadetoblack123 was best



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy